Porirua City is implementing bilingual signage to reflect our commitment to te reo Māori and the importance of our mana whenua.
Porirua is a proudly multicultural city and our new signs will better reflect this, says Porirua City Council Chief Executive Wendy Walker.
“Te reo Māori is a taonga, and we want to play our part in celebrating and revitalising that,” she says.
“We have chosen to embrace te reo with confidence. We are committed to building a bilingual community – te reo Māori is an official language of New Zealand and should be recognised.”
Bilingual signs are also in line with the city’s longstanding relationship and partnership with Ngāti Toa Rangatira, and kaumatua Taku Parai welcomed the move.
“Bringing te reo to our city signage shows a commitment to preserving and honouring the language and making it part of the city’s future,” he said.
Ms Walker says she hopes other councils will take similar steps and embrace bilingual signage.
“We believe this move has value for all residents and visitors. By bringing Māori language into our everyday lives, we help those less familiar with it gain confidence, as well as recognising those who already speak te reo.”
A set of guidelines have been developed to shape how the new signs will be implemented. The guidelines are clear that all signs will be consistent, with te reo Māori text first.
“This approach follows the best practice recommended by Te Puni Kokiri,” Ms Walker says.
In preparing the signs we use specialist translation services and liaise with Ngāti Toa kaumatua.
A graduated rollout is in place, with new signs only being installed when existing signs need to be replaced.
Residents can expect to see signs popping up around the city soon at Te Rauparaha Arena - Arena Aquatics, Hukatai Park, Mungavin Park & Hall, Ngāti Toa Domain, Porirua Park, Titahi Bay and Whitby Village.
-Porirua City Council